Carnegie Mellon University

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October 23, 2013

Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 4

Several Important Changes To Note

By Santina Balestreire

Open Enrollment for benefits will take place from Monday, Nov. 4 through 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18.

Each year, Open Enrollment provides employees with the opportunity to review benefit plans and make new elections, if desired, for the upcoming calendar year.

If you do not actively elect your benefits for the upcoming year, you will be enrolled in the same benefit plans at the same level of participation that you have this year, with the exception of the flexible spending accounts. (You must actively enroll in these accounts each year to participate.)

Elections made during Open Enrollment will become effective Jan. 1, 2014, and will remain in effect for the entire calendar year. Unless you experience a qualified life or family status change, Open Enrollment is the only time during the year when you may change your benefit elections.

It is important to note that Highmark members will continue to have access to UPMC providers and facilities through Dec. 31, 2014. The university is currently reviewing its relationships with medical plan providers for 2015 to ensure that CMU employees will have adequate access to providers and facilities.

2014 Changes:

Tax Deferred Annuities (TDA) Plan (Supplemental/Employee Retirement Contributions)

  • Employees must now make deferrals on a percentage basis, rather than a flat dollar amount.
  • Once Open Enrollment elections are completed, current TDA participants will be prompted at the top of the confirmation page to make a new percentage based TDA election in HR Connection.


  • In compliance with the Affordable Care Act, copayments will now count toward the out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Out-of-pocket maximums have been adjusted on some plan options to keep this change cost neutral to both the employee and the university.


  • The United Concordia PPO Dentist Network has changed to the Alliance Network, which is larger than the current Advantage Plus network. If your dentist is not in the current network, you should check to see if he/she has been added.

Same-Sex Spouses

  • Due to a recent Supreme Court decision, same-sex spouses are now eligible for tax-free benefits under CMU's benefits plans.

Detailed plan information and rates are available to view at If you have any questions, please contact the HR Benefits Office at 412-268-2047 or

Santina Balestreire is the Human Resources communications manager.

For Your Benefit

Staff Council's Benefits
Open Forum
Noon - 1 p.m., Oct. 29
McConomy Auditorium, University Center
Members of the HR Benefits Office will be on hand to review upcoming changes and answer questions.

Benefits & Fitness Fair
10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Nov. 6
Rangos Ballroom, University Center
Benefits and fitness vendors will answer your questions. The fair also includes fitness demonstrations, free health screenings and flu shots, raffles and giveaways. For more information, visit